Bliss

I woke up this morning thinking about “what if we could move?” again.  The discussion between David and I is usually that he’ll be happy to move “when there’s commitment” and I just want to be sure that if there’s commitment, there’s the possibility of moving.  But this morning he brought up a good point – he wants to make sure that a move itself will not make me happy.  My thing is that it’s part of me (moving, growing, changing environments) and this has been the longest I’ve been anywhere.  I felt like I might have caused him to be a little unsettled, but I push the moving thing a lot because I want to make sure it’s a possibility.

I had to go back to the book I read “The Geography of Bliss” by Eric Weiner, and remind myself of some of his points (from what I remember and some helpful blogs):

  • The Swiss are happy because they aren’t envious.  Envy = enemy of happiness.  For example, they don’t discuss money, and it’s rude to brag about wealth or stuff you have. I need to remember this so I stop comparing myself to others.
  • The Icelanders are happy because creativity is encouraged and failure is okay.  They try stuff and if they aren’t the best at it, no big deal.  Also need to remember this and to stop being a perfectionist.
  • Happiness is relational.  Americans pursue happiness by physically moving, and never having firm roots anywhere, which means never fully committing.  The author says: “we can’t love a place or person if we always have one foot out the door” and that “Paradise is a moving target”.  One day it might be a small town in North Carolina, but the next day everyone has already discovered it.  The grass is not always greener on the other side.  I often use my parent’s model of always being on the move and not staying anywhere over 4 years, and while that was exciting, that doesn’t have to be me.  Refreshing oneself completely is just avoiding problems and having the view that the next place will be perfect is not practical.  Though, a little bit of refreshing every once in awhile is good I think – new job assignments, new area of town, etc.

So yes – I need to focus on now and not on the future (a common theme), and I need to consider Houston in a more positive light.  I will say I’ve started to find happiness in Houston now that we are back from worldly travels.  Why?

  • It’s fall!  The brisk mornings are putting me in a grrrrreat mood for the day.  I also love the flavors of fall – pumpkin, squash, nuts, nutmeg, spice.
  • I’m moving apartments – to the Heights, which has lots of personality.  This last apartment has been tough.  It has no natural light (so we call it the cave), so even if it’s gorgeous outside I don’t know.  Weather and changes in weather definitely puts me in a great mood.  Plus, David joins me for the new one in November and it will be great to cook together, watch goofy shows together, and just all the day-to-day stuff we can share.
  • Houston has potential for more hipsters.  People don’t know the word here, so I want to be a little more “Hipster in Houston” after I move to the Heights.  This includes having a small garden, recycling, going to the library, farmers markets, and maybe changing my commute.  Houston has a small sustainability movement going on, and I noticed while running on the bayou yesterday there was a lot of construction of new trails – good for bikes and running.
  • It’s running season – it’s great to get up for an early morning run.  Especially when I meet David for core workout afterwards.  I look forward to being able to go home together to our apartment and enjoy breakfast together after the runs.
  • I’m realizing I have a really supportive boyfriend that wants me to be happy.  And I think I’m getting better at communicating with him (I have a hard time voicing things and tend to avoid them instead, but I’m getting there).  I do, however, want to work on building my “girlfriend” network.  I think that would make Houston a whole lot better for me.
  • There are some cool big city benefits – lectures, museums, etc.  I just signed up for some museum newsletters – intellectual stuff is fun to do too!  I need to remember to go to some of the free days at the museums as a date.

I have to say I like this post and think I will come back to it often.  On an ending note, when discussing moving this morning I did say “but I do love nature [which Houston isn’t known for]” to which I was countered “you’re working in the wrong industry”.  Maybe that was the most valid point of the morning!

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